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Condemned man gets new hearing 11 years after murder conviction

NORFOLK (AP) A Virginia man who was convicted in the murder-for-hire of a Naval officer in Newport News has gotten a new court hearing.

The hearing for David A. Runyon will focus on whether his trial lawyers should have better investigated evidence that he was suffering from brain damage, the Daily Press reported.

A Norfolk federal jury convicted Runyon in 2009 of shooting Cory Allen Voss five times outside an ATM. Authorities said the killing was orchestrated by Voss’ wife and her boyfriend and designed to look like a robbery gone bad.

Runyon was sentenced to death. His current attorneys argue that jurors might have spared his life if they knew about Runyon’s brain damage. It was possibly caused by child abuse and being later hit head-on by a drunk driver while serving in the Army.

Last month, a federal appeals court sent the case back to the Norfolk federal court for a hearing. It will focus on whether one of Runyon’s 2009 trial attorneys provided “ineffective assistance of counsel” in not more fully exploring the brain damage issue.

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